I’ve been swamped with work and home stuff, and I’ve not had a chance to post much. But I did want to note how good the rest of the year looks, especially for the Wii.
Even though I didn’t grow up playing NES and SNES games, as I didn’t really own a console until about 3 years ago, I know I’ve been something of a Wii and DS fan. I’m not blind to their limits, to the crap in their game libraries.
Yet, I have far more anticipation for new DS and Wii games than for other platforms. Why? What’s the reason for my gut liking of these platforms? After all, real gamers play the 360 and PS3, so I’m told by blogs and forums. Am I just feeding an inner child?
A part of it that I just like the DS and Wii for themselves–easy to use, accessible, and just radiating a playful gaming persona. Games should be . . . fun. The 360 is a more ‘serious’ platform, in spite of the avatars which few seem to like much anyway. The Wii’s background music for the menu and the different channels sets the playful tone.
Plus, I like to see innovation rewarded. The 360 and PS3, while admirable and enjoyable consoles, are more like upgrades than innovations, although there’s plenty of value in an upgrade.
With that, I just want to highlight some very intriguing looking Wii games that we’ll see this year.
Monster Hunter 3 [TBA 2009]–Even though not announced for North America, it’s practically guaranteed and will, one hopes, greatly enhance the online offerings for the Wii.
Silent Hill-Shattered Memories [Q3 2009]–See previous post. This is perhaps the most attrractive Wii game to me this year.
The Conduit [June 23, 2009]–The more I find out about the details, the more I like it, even though my FPS days are largely behind me. It has 13 online modes and a storyline that I like. I know it’s getting ‘slammed’ for having a retro feel to it, but that’s what attracts me. [I think being able to jump on and play will have greater value on the Wii than on the 360, where leveling up characters and unlocking weapons has more of an audience.]
Red Steel 2 [Q4 2009]–Though few details have been revealed, it was announced for the holidays 2009. It will use the Wii motion addon, have more of an RPG play, rely more on swords than guns, is set in the West, and has some nice looking cel shaded animation, based on what’s been released so far.
Overlord-Dark Legend [June 23, 2009]–This game is looking good, both graphically and gameplay.
Muramasa [September, 2009]–It’s a 2D game but a gorgeous one that will probably play much like Odin Sphere. And that’s a good thing.
Dead Space-Extraction [Q4 2009]–I’m not much for rail shooters, but it looks like they might try to push the boundaries for what defines a rail shooter, or at least, make it more than just a light gun game.
[Update] Little King’s Story [June 23, 2009]–Mark this as another of one those games where the visuals probably don’t match what people expect for a very challenging game. And a game that crosses genres–rts, civ building, adventure rpg.
Sure, there are other fun Wii games coming, like Punch Out, Wii Resort, Boom Blox Bash Party, but it’s good to see more more up market games. And I’ve not listed all of them, like Final Fantasy-the Crystal Bearers, which has no announced release date yet.
Okay, now, back to researching web services and other things to earn my gaming money.
In part 1, I previewed action and role-playing games and in Part 2, I previewed other up-market games. I think without a doubt, 2009 will be much better for the Wii core and hardcore gamers. The good thing, too, is that we’re not seeing an isolated up-market game here and there–we’re going to have several come out.
March – 3
Q1 – 3
June – 2
And several more are confirmed for 2009 but do not have specific dates announced. Is there a chance we’ll have a repeat of 2008 in which most of the better games come out in the first half? Yes, but if we look at even the unconfirmed though likely or possible games, I think we have good reasons to be encouraged for a solid second half of 2009 as well.
I think the success of the Q1 releases will be important and will perhaps have an effect on more game announcements. The fact is that, although the Wii has been out for 2 years, publishers weren’t on board from the outset. As its sales continued, the Wii was too popular to ignore. As a result, it appears that third-party games are just now catching up and releasing good, up-market games.
Below, I list the interesting but unconfirmed 2009 games or games worth mentioning at least.
When I drafted this post, it was back in December, and now there are scores of such lists. Still, not all are the same.
In part 1, I previewed action and role-playing games that are confirmed for North America and/or Europe. In Part 2, I’ll look at other up-market genres. In part 3, I’ll list the best of the unconfirmed 2009 games.
As we hit a lull in console games, folks are looking at the top games for next year, like this one for the 360 [of which 5 are FPS, 6 if you count RE5]. Wii owners are told time and again that they have no ‘core’ or ‘hardcore’ games. But 2009 is looking much better for the up market. Yet, even with what has been announced, I think it’s highly likely the second half 2009 will see, at least, new games from Nintendo. Plus, there are some games that have not been announced a North America or Europe release date, such Monster Hunter 3, Fragile, and Fatal Frame 4.
So, sticking with only games with firm announcements for Europe and North America, here are some up-market games to look forward to in 2009. I’m not putting these in order, and I’m looking at different types of games. In this post, I’m looking at the better RPG and Action titles confirmed for 2009. In part 2, I’ll look at other up-market genres.
It’s good to note that several of these games have distinctive visual styles, whether it’s the black and white of madworld, the Jananese art style of Muramasa, or Eternity’s Child. As much as I enjoy the high-definition 360 games, they often seem to come in as browns and blues. The 360 has its distinctively styled games, but for the Wii, this is almost a necessity because it cannot compete with the detailed, high def style of the 360 and PS3. And in the end, I think this could potentially make Wii games much more visually interesting than high def games.
After a while, highly detailed games can have a certain sameness simply because, by allowing greater detail and more realism, the games tend that direction. But with the better Wii games even today, they do not suffer a halo effect of looking similar, except for perhaps the core Nintendo games. Even so, Super Mario Galaxy is noticeably different from Mario Kart Wii and certainly far removed from Metroid Prime 3. THen there are very distinctive styles of Zack & Wiki, Boom Blox,No More Heroes, Lost Winds, and de Blob. The 2009 Wii lineup seems to advance this visual diversity.
There are some very visually interesting games coming up for the Wii early next year, but a couple have more than visuals going for them.
First, there’s Monster Hunter 3, which will have an online coop mode. While the game has not been confirmed for release outside of Japan, it’s the sort of beautiful and intriguing game that deserves the lust in our hearts. What’s encouraging is that the PSP versions of the Monster Hunter series have been selling well in the west. Plus, Capcom gave game magazines English sheets for the creatures and controls, which would seem to indicate that a release in the west is planned.
Next is Arc Rise Fantasia, which is confirmed for release in North America and probably for Europe. This is the sort of RPG that seems that it will have depth as it includes at least two types of dynamics. First, you have ‘contaminant dragons,’ which, when killed, have poison the surrounding area. Second, RPGamer reported that, the longer you use the same three characters in a group, they develop a more powerful bond that affects their attack, in addition to special combination attacks.
Excellent visuals are always appreciated, but having a deep, dynamic experience is better. And I think we could have that in these two games.